Want to get a good idea of how your health is doing?
Blood holds a lot of factors that can determine your health because of its function in the body. Ordering a blood test is a quick and easy process, and you get very insightful information about the quality of your health with the results.
Read on to discover more about blood chemistry lab tests and why they're important now.
Blood Testing: What It Is and Why It's Important
Blood testing is the analysis of extracted blood samples through biochemical processes. It's one of the most powerful ways to check your current health.
Blood chemistry tests are great for checking biomarkers that evaluate the health of your organs, like your heart, kidney, liver, digestive system, lungs, endocrine system, and for diseases ranging from immune to infections. Blood is the carrier and transport system of oxygen and other resources the body needs. Depending on the blood test you take, these tests can help detect issues before you have symptoms and provide an accurate disease diagnosis. Blood tests can also help doctors determine if your organs are well and functioning correctly.
Taking blood tests is important because they are the fastest way to determine risk factors and verify the diagnosis of diseases.
Types of Blood Chemistry Tests
Depending on what you are testing or screening for, there are many hundreds of blood tests available. There are tests for detecting blood diseases, disorders and checking on organ function. Here are some basic blood chemistry tests frequently ordered, and here is a link to 19 important lab tests that you may want to review with your doctor.
Complete Blood Count
The Complete Blood Count or CBC is the most common blood test performed. This blood test is often a part of a routine check-up. The CBC test helps in detecting blood diseases and blood disorders like anemia and clotting problems. The CBC is also used to help detect blood cancers like Leukemia and immune system disorders.
The CBC blood test measures 33 biomarkers, including the red and white blood cells and platelets. Identifying a disease with a CBC test depends on which blood part has abnormal low or high counts.
Red Blood Cells (RBC)
The red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When a CBC shows abnormal RBC levels, this can be a factor of anemia, dehydration, or bleeding.
Alongside your RBCs, CBC also checks with your Hemoglobin and Hematocrit levels.
White Blood Cells (WBC)
White blood cells are your body’s first line of defense against infections and diseases. CBC test results with either a high or low WBC count can mean an infection or blood cancer.
In some cases, this can also point to an immune system disorder. These diseases are often easy to diagnose with the help of blood tests.
Platelets are the blood cell fragments in charge of blood clotting. When platelet levels become abnormal, this can mean a bleeding disorder. Other times it can mean a thrombotic disorder, which is a case of too much blood clotting.
Basic Metabolic Panel
Basic Metabolic Panel is a group of 11 biomarkers tests that gauge the health of your kidneys and the balance of your electrolytes. They are tests that often use the plasma or the fluid part of your blood. The Basic Metabolic Panel tests give doctors the data on your muscles, bones, and organs, like kidneys and liver.
Glucose is a major source of energy for most cells of the body, including those in the brain. The hormones insulin and glucagon help control blood glucose levels.
You have more calcium in your body than any other mineral. Calcium has many important jobs. The body stores more than 99% of its calcium in the bones and teeth to help make and keep them strong.
The rest is throughout the body in blood, muscle, and the fluid between cells. Your body needs calcium to help muscles and blood vessels contract and expand, secrete hormones and enzymes and send messages through the nervous system.
Potassium is a mineral that the body needs to work normally. It helps nerves and muscles communicate. It also helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.
Sodium is a substance that the body needs to work properly. It is vital to normal body processes, including nerve and muscle function.
CO2 is carbon dioxide. Measures the amount of carbon dioxide in the liquid part of your blood, called the serum. In the body, most CO2 is in the form of a substance called bicarbonate (HCO3-).
Chloride is a type of electrolyte. It works with other electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and carbon dioxide (CO2). These substances help keep the proper balance of body fluids and maintain the body's acid-base balance.
The creatinine blood test measures the level of creatinine in the blood. This test is done to see how well your kidneys work.
Urea Nitrogen (Bun)
BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen. Urea nitrogen is what forms when protein breaks down. BUN measures the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood.
A ratio between a person’s BUN and blood creatinine to help determine what is causing these concentrations to be higher than normal. The ratio of BUN to creatinine is usually between 10:1 and 20:1. An increased ratio may be due to a condition that causes a decrease in the flow of blood to the kidneys, such as congestive heart failure or dehydration.
It may also be seen with increased protein, gastrointestinal bleeding, or increased protein in the diet. The ratio may be decreased with liver disease (due to a decrease in the formation of urea) and malnutrition.
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a test used to check how well the kidneys are working. Specifically, it estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli each minute. Glomeruli are the tiny filters in the kidneys that filter waste from the blood.
Hepatic Function Panel
This panel, also known as the liver panel, contains the following 10 biomarkers that measure the health of your liver.
Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood.
The ratio of albumin to globulin (A/G ratio) is calculated from measured albumin and calculated globulin (total protein - albumin). Normally, there is a little more albumin than globulins, giving a normal A/G ratio of slightly over. Because disease states affect the relative amounts of albumin and globulin, the A/G ratio may provide a clue as to the cause of the change in protein levels.
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found in all body tissues. Tissues with higher amounts of ALP include the liver, bile ducts, and bone.
Alanine transaminase (ALT) is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver. Injury to the liver results in the release of the substance into the blood.
AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme found in high amounts in the liver, heart, and muscle cells. It is also found in lesser amounts in other tissues.
Bilirubin, Direct, Indirect and Total
Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells is replaced by new blood cells every day.
Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.
Globulin is the collective term for most blood proteins other than albumin. Identifying the types of globulins can help diagnose certain disorders. Globulins are roughly divided into three groups: alpha, beta, and gamma globulins.
Gamma globulins include antibodies such as immunoglobulins (Ig) M, G, and A.
The total protein is the total amount of two classes of proteins, albumin, and globulin, that are found in the fluid portion of your blood. Proteins are important parts of all cells and tissues. Your albumin helps prevent fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, and your globulins are an important part of your immune system.
Benefits of Blood Testing
There are many benefits to having your blood tested periodically. Here are some of them.
- They are a reliable source of data for your health and wellness
- Blood tests are an excellent way to detect and diagnose diseases
- They help in checking your metabolism
- They are good ways to determine if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic
- Blood chemistry lab tests check your organs' health and functionality
The tests help in keeping you up to date with your hormone levels and keep them in optimal health
- They allow you to determine and avoid your risks for stroke and heart disease
- Blood tests are an excellent way to measure your health
Getting blood tests regularly to establish your baseline biomarkers and track changes in your biomarkers is an excellent way to keep track of your health and avoid health risks. If you haven't checked your blood in a while, now is the time to take control of your health with blood chemistry tests from Ulta Lab Tests.
Blood Chemistry Lab Tests and Why You Need Them
Blood chemistry tests are essential laboratory tests that people should not overlook—looking to get a blood test done?
Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests so that you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:
- You'll get secure and confidential results
- You don't need health insurance
- You don't need a physician's referral
- You'll get affordable pricing
- We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee
We aim to simplify the testing process as much as possible. You can order multiple blood tests to be performed with only a single blood draw. You can schedule all of the testing services you need to be performed in a single visit with Ulta Lab Test at a nearby patient service center.
Getting your results is quick and easy as well. Log into your unique patient portal, and you'll be able to view all current and past test results you've ordered through Ulta Lab Tests.